Hi student travelers!

Here’s another wonderful post from my brother about two of the greatest attractions to visit on your educational student tour to Italy.

Students and teachers visiting Rome should prepare to take a step back in time. Founded in 625 B.C., the City Of Seven Hills has been a cultural, scientific, and artistic touchstone for centuries. It’s been attacked and even destroyed on numerous occasions, but has refused to fade into the annals of history. Every square inch of this city holds a potential look at the past, as the modern day has continually built itself up on the ruins of its history.

Occasionally, though, the past has managed to claw up and into the present. No where is this more true than in the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

The Forum was an integral part of ancient Roman culture. A place where citizens could meet to do business, buy goods, and engage in discussion. First constructed around 500 BC, Rome’s Forum has survived earthquakes, fires, and wars. In actuality, the Forum in its current form is an amalgamation of forums built over and next to one another over the centuries, and provides an intriguing look at daily Roman life in different eras, primarily from the founding of the Republic and the reigns of Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus. There are ancient temples dedicated to old gods, a Senate chamber, aqueduct and more, all sitting out in the middle of modern day Rome.

In the shadow of the Forum sits perhaps Rome’s most recognizable landmark; the Colosseum. Educational tours should make this location a must-see stop on their trip, as students will surely get a kick of following in the footsteps of gladiators. Construction began during the reign of Emperor Vespasian but modifications continued over numerous rulers. The stadium hosted the bloodiest entertainment of the time, pitting slave warriors against wild animals, trained soldiers and other slaves. Occasionally, they even flooded the grounds to create mock naval battles. All of this was to keep the populace distracted in times of turmoil, coining the term bread and circuses¬Ě.

Students can walk through the same stands where citizens sat cheering on their favorite gladiator, or observe the animal cages where exotic beasts lay in wait for an unwary combatant. Before you leave, snap a photo with a Roman centurion, proving to your friends back home that you survived the impossible.

Until next time,

Matthew.